A Canadian Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Quebec Central Railway


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The Quebec Central Railway was a railway in the Canadian province of Quebec, which served an area of Quebec, called the Eastern Townships, south of the St. Lawrence River. Its headquarters was in Sherbrooke. It was originally incorporated in 1869 as the Sherbrooke, Eastern Townships and Kennebec Railway, and changed its name to the Quebec Central Railway in 1875. It would eventually own around 300 miles of track.(wik) The largest of Quebec’s regional rail carriers, the QCR was also, for some period of time, one of Canada’s most profitable systems. Much specialized passenger equipment for QCR’s service was manufactured at the company’s shops. Quebec Central continued to provide passenger service between Sherbrooke and Quebec City until 1965 using Canadian National trackage from Charny the northern 14 miles across the Queec Bridge to Palais Station in Queec City.(db,nr) In 1912, the Canadian Pacific Railway leased the Quebec Central for 999 years.
All passenger service had ended by April 1967, and freight service ended in November 1994. The Quebec Central was abandoned on December 23, 1994. However, because the CPR only owned 10% of the Quebec Central's stock, it could not tear up the track and dispose of the right-of-way. In December 1999, a local resident who owned a trucking company (Express Marco Incorporated) bought the railway from the CPR and revived it, with trains running starting in June 2000. The railway operated tourist excursions in addition to regular freight service.
The company went out of business in 2006 however, ending once more railway traffic on the line.(wik)


Quebec Central

Quebec Central
June 28, 1942

Sfort history of the Quebec Central Railway
1869 - The Sherbrooke Eastern Townships and Kennebec Railway Incorporated.
1874 - SET&K open 14 miles from Sherbrooke to Westbury.
1875- SET&K in financial difficulties is reoprganized as the Quebec Central Railway Company.
1876 - Abestos industry begins at Tetford Mines.
1878 - The QC reach ed Tetford Mines 68 miles north of Sherbrooke opening up rail service to this new asbestos industry.
cir 1880 - Levis & Kennebec Raailway completed from Levis, 43 miles, to Vallee Jct.
1880 - QC completed up to Vallee Jct. (99 miles).
1881 - L&K forced into ankrupcy and purchased by the QC.
1884 - QC constructs 3 mile line from Carrier Jct. to connect to the Intercolonial Railway, located at the ferry landing, to simplify freight movement since Levi terminus was on a high bluff.
1891 - Through service on QC from Sherbrooke to Levis.
cir 1881 - QC opens 5 mile line Vallee Jct. to St. Joseph.
1894 - 60 mile branch line to Megantic completed in anticipation of connections to a planned CP line across Maine.
1896-1915 - Extensions from St. Joseph in 1886, 1907 and 1914 complete branch to La Frontiere, 79 miles from Vallee Jct.
1912 - Canadian Pacific leases the QC for 999 years.
cir 1921 - QC constructs 20 mile line north from Scott Jct. to Walsh near Charny to connect to the CN and use trackage rights across the St. Lawrence River on the Quebec Bridge.
1920's - QC is among first to use gas-electric rail cars for passenger service.
1926 - QC leases Massawippi Valley Railway from the B&M. This line fro Lennoxville to the international border. (This line was chartered in 1862, opened in 1870, and laater purchased y the QC). The QC also arranged to operate over the CPR from Sherbrooke to Lennoxville, 2.9 miles and from the border to Newport, Vt. 6.2 miles.
1930-40's - Passenger service was quite adequate on the main line to Sherbrooke with 4-6-2 Pacific locomotives, former CPR, used as motive power.
1931 - QC runs through sleeper and coach trains from Quebec City to Newport and then by connections to New York on the B&M and NYC and to Boston via the B&M.
1943 - At this time the Quebec City trains terminated at Sherbtooke, Quebec. Buffet dining and parlor cars were used on one train each way. Buses were used across the Canada-US border to Newport, where B&M provided connecting services to Boston and B&M/NYC to New York.
1950 - Sleeper runs only to Sherbrooke but one coach only train continues through connections to Boston and New York. Most service is now by buses.
1955 -Sleeper service is dropped. Lounge cars and coaches only remain on QC passenger trains.
late 1950's - QC cars renumbered to CP standards.
1960 = QC is using RDC cars only for two trains Quebec City to Sherbrooks only. Service to Newport is all by bus.
1965 - Passenger service Quebec City to Sherbrooke ended.
1967 - All passenger service ended.
1979-80's - Some new cars numbered as QC.
1994 - QC abandoned but tracks were not torn up.
1999 - Local resident (Express Marco Inc.) bought the QC.
1998 - Some QC cars sold to Quebec and Gatineau Railway.
2000 - QC operated freight and tourist excursion trains.
2006 - QC went out of business.




Quebec Central map
Quebec Central Map - 1942

Quebec Central map
Quebec Central with connections

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- various editions
http://railfare.net/QuebecCentral.html-Derek Booth (db)
http://www.nakina.net/cdn/qc.html
The Quebec Central, by O.S.A. La Vallee, from NRHS Bulletin Vol XIII, no. 3 1948.(nr)
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Copyright © Richard Parks, April 30, 2009, revisedf Oct. 5, 2011